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3 July, 2020 Open access

DWP confirms that, as lockdown measures are lifted, no sanctions will be used until claimants have an up-to-date claimant commitment

In addition, DWP says that those 'who are shielding, have childcare responsibilities because of COVID restrictions, etc' will not be asked to do anything unreasonable

The DWP has confirmed that no sanctions will be used until claimants have an up-to-date claimant commitment.

As jobcentres in England started to reopen this week, as part of the government's plan to lift the lockdowm measures that had been introduced in March 2020 as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Work and Pensions Secretary said that the reinstatement of the claimant commitment will form an 'essential part of the contract to help people start to reconsider what vacancies there are'.

However, while in a new edition of its Coronavirus Touchbase Special, the DWP confirms that work coaches are now calling claimants 'to help get Britain back into work', it goes on to say that -

'We don’t want to sanction anyone. These are difficult, uncertain times for many people and we want to do everything we can to help them find work or increase hours, where that is possible for them. No sanction will be used until the claimant has an up-to-date claimant commitment in place. After that, a sanction will only be used where a claimant has not provided good reason for meeting the agreed requirements in the claimant commitment. Claimants who are shielding, have childcare responsibilities because of COVID restrictions, etc. will have their claimant commitment tailored to reflect their circumstances and will not be asked to do anything unreasonable.'

The new edition of the DWP's Coronavirus Touchbase Special is available from dwp.gov.uk